In the short history of the International Fight League, three men held the promotion's middleweight championship. Among them was Miletich Fighting Systems standout Ryan McGivern. And although his time as titleholder was short, he proved himself a worthwhile talent for the company.
Multiple wins over current Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight MattHorwich, as well as victories over Fabio Leopoldo and Dennis Hallman, cemented McGivern as fighter to watch in the coming years.
After taking time off following the disablement of the IFL, he returns to the cage to be part of this Thursday's Adrenaline 2 card, featuring former IFL coach and UFC champion Pat Miletich.
"It's always an honor to fight on the same card as Pat, as well as getting to fight with a lot of our teammates like Ben Rothwell, Mike (Ciesnolevicz), LCDavis, 'Junior' Hernandez and JessieLennox," said McGivern of his involvement with Adrenaline. "It's encouraging that we're all on the same page.
"At the gym, we're all working on the same goal for this Adrenaline show and the intensity has been really high. Just to be on the same card and all going through it together kind of helps that team environment."
During his time in the IFL, McGivern was on the same break-neck fighting schedule that many in the promotion were, often fighting every other month, to the tune of 11 fights in two years.
Having an opportunity to rest up this year has been a very welcomed side effect to the company's demise.
"With the schedule the IFL had us on, I only had time for fighting, so I took a little time to relax," he commented. "It's (been) a chance to heal the body up and get back to neutral in a sense. I'm getting fired up again for training instead of having to just go through the grind month after month.
"I feel in really great shape right now and my body isn't dinged up from my last fight. I've been able to heal; training has gone really well, so it's been beneficial."
Opposing McGivern at Adrenaline will be King of the Cage veteran GenoRoderick. As the MFS fighter states, he may not know much about Roderick, but that doesn't change the overall game plan.
"Basically I have to try to have the same attitude going into any competition," he admitted. "I expect the other guy to be ready to go and fight, so I'm going in there making sure I'm ready to go and really try to enforce my style.
"Keep improving my position, whether we're on the feet or the ground, wherever it's at, just keep working to improve."
Having had the time off this year that he was not afforded in the past, McGivern says he has had an opportunity to shore up an area of his game that had proven problematic to him.
"If you look at me in the past, I get in trouble falling into submissions, and I think I've been able to step back and work a lot more on being more aware of what's happening on the ground and submission defense," he stated.
"I've also worked more effectively for submission (attempts), so I feel more dangerous on the ground than I have in the past. At the same time, just keep working, sparring, and getting more comfortable standing."
Getting back into fighting after an absence, McGivern is looking to continue working on his game, take things as they come, and be fully prepared for any opportunities that come his way.
"I'm really not in a rush to make any big moves," he said. "I'm really just trying to grow and learn a bit more and be more aware as a fighter. We'll see what becomes available, keep things open, see what falls in place and take it one fight at a time."
With multiple promotions looking to fill up their 185-pound divisions with solid talent, it seems only a matter of time before McGivern gets another shot at the big time and a possible second run as champion.